When I acquired a new phone because of my bulldog, I began to search through the “App Market” for dog-related applications. I have to be honest: most of it’s crap. There are apps for doggie wallpapers, “silent” whistles, barking apps, clickers and training tips.

Most of these are free, so can be fun to look at, but some of them cost cold-hard cash and I’m loathe to pay for an app that’s probably useless (with one caveat, as I’ll cover). The nice thing about markets or stores where you can download apps are the user reviews. Most of them confirm my suspicion that the apps are useless, so I don’t even bother downloading them or contacting the developer to learn more.

However, there are a couple, one in particular, that I’ve been playing with for a little while now. Here they are:

Local Animal Hospitals: This is an app you have to pay to use. With a tap of a button, the app calculates your position and then lists the closest animal hospitals by distance. It also has a compass to show your direction of travel in relation to the hospital, incorporates Google Street View so you can see what the hospital looks like as you’re driving by and has a mapping function the shows your relation to the hospitals around you.

Yes, you can use a web-browser search functionality and then a Navigate app to get you there, but this simplifies the process and could save you time when searching for a nearby vet clinic. You can also go in and change the search parameters to, say, something like: “24-hour vets” or “emergency veterinarian care” and it will provide the listed results with the same functionality.

This is one instance that would make me go against my aversion to paying for an application. For the low price you have a very quick way to get to an animal hospital very quickly. And for hunters traveling with a dog, time is of the essence. If your pup snags his belly on barbed wire, gets bit by a rattlesnake, has an appendage severed by the prop to a boat (this has happened more than once), suffers from heat stroke or hypothermia, then getting that animal to the doctor ASAP is worth the $2.99 download price.

GET AN OL.COM DISCOUNT!That said, because Brad Brown, the developer of the app, has a son, Austin, that’s a huge hunter and that owns a couple of hunting dogs, he has agreed to give OL Gun Doggers a discount! Instead of the usual $2.99 download price, he will refund $2 (so you’re getting it at .99 cents!). All you have to do is download the app and then send him an email saying you saw the article here on You can email him at: Enjoy the discount Gun Doggers!

Dog Health Care Tips I & II: A free app that lists health care tips like mange, hip dysplasia, vomiting, hot spots and the like. It’s good that it’s free because it’s not super useful. It’s pretty general data that I don’t know why you’d need it in an app. The only caveat to that might be the first aid instructions (something that you might want to carry with you), but even they are so basic as to be common sense.

Not only is it not super useful info, it appears that the developer is putting out completely different apps and just labeling them “I” and “II” instead of updating the existing app and making it a seamless, one-stop search. Not great, but might be worth your time if you’re so inclined to read about health care tips (I’d probably use a better source on the internet).

Poisonous Dog Food: Much more useful than the Health Care Tips app, is this one that profiles “Fruits”, “Garden and Wild Plants”, “Indoor Plants” and “Other Stuff.”

When you click on one of the category topics listed above, up pops a list of plants (apples, boxweed, hyacinth, azalea, bread, grapes, tomato, etc) complete with a photo and color-coded label that identifies it as how dangerous it is to dogs (i.e., green for non-toxic to red, potentially deadly). You can sort the list alphabetically or by danger (ascending and descending) or you can search for a plant.

Clicking on an individual plant in the list pulls up a larger picture of the plant and gives a list of symptoms (grapes, for instance cause vomiting, absence of appetite, diarrhea, stomach pain, kidney failure).

There are some minor categorizing problems that I see, but the price is right…free! I like free. And to quickly look up food after Fido breaks into the grocery sack or does some counter surfing always provides a little piece of mind.